They argue that this profit would then be used to help move blacks into positions of management. Indeed, CalTex could show that they had moved 40% of their black work force into positions once only held by whites. They also showed that their operations had moved blacks into 22% of their lower management positions. They also were paying a higher than average wage to their black workers, resulting in improved living conditions.
The argument against the utilitarian benefits of CalTex continuing to refine oil did not negate the political realities of South Africa. None of their black workers were able to unionize, vote or even travel into “white” areas without special permission. The negation of these basic human rights counteracted any good that CalTex was providing to the black community through job opportunities, improved wages or slight upward mobility. Building the plant would give tax revenue to the government and imply cooperation with the regime. I believe that it is more important for the corporation to not expand because without basic human rights, a better job doesn’t really make life much better.
I believe that as a stockholder I should have voted for CalTex to suspend operations in South Africa. This first proposition was the best way to set a good example of moral corporate governance. I would know that I would surely lose money if the other stockholders voted with me, but I would feel better about the future profits of the company. CalTex is an international company and pulling out of South Africa would not have a long-term effect. The refinery could have been sold and the corporation could have withdrawn.
As to the second proposition of not selling to the military, I believe that I would not have voted for this proposition. The simple fact is that South Africa had passed a law specifically against such actions. My feeling is that if a corporation is going to do business in a given country, they should obey the laws